IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have opened their June minicamp without backup quarterback Kyle Orton, as has been speculated for several weeks now.
Practice does not begin at Valley Ranch until 11 a.m., but Orton was not among those in attendance when the team reported for meetings early Tuesday morning. With this week being the first mandatory activity of the offseason program, Orton stands to be fined up to $70,000 by the time if he fails to take part.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has repeated adamantly that he expected Orton, who has been absent from the team facility all offseason, to show up for minicamp. Details on the team's conversations with Orton have been hard to come by, but Garrett said last week he expected Orton at Valley Ranch for the three-day camp.
If Orton doesn't show, it opens up an interesting debate about what the future holds for the backup quarterback. There has been speculation this offseason that Orton is considering retirement – not to mention some speculation that he wants more money from the Cowboys in the event of an injury to Tony Romo.
Orton is currently owed $3.25 million on the last [embedded_ad]
year of his contract. If he decides to retire, he'll have to return the $3.4 million he received as a signing bonus with the Cowboys. If the Cowboys opt to put the issue behind them and cut Orton, he gets to keep that money.
The Cowboys signed former first-round pick Brandon Weeden to a team-friendly contract at the start of free agency. Weeden has been operating as the team's backup during voluntary workouts and has been receiving first-team reps while Tony Romo eases his way back from back surgery.